5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
For many, if not all, the life of an entrepreneur can be a lonely journey. Embedded within the word is the understanding that the entrepreneur is, by and large, alone. There is a strong spiritual and internal impulse that drives the person to create something for others and themselves. However, the way forward is unclear and the destination unknown.
Entrepreneurship is a creative act in which the entrepreneur takes a risk to make something better. They want to create a better product and give their client a better experience while having a better time doing it. At its best, entrepreneurship is the meeting of a person’s greatest gifts, the expression of their strongest desires, and their client’s deepest needs. It is where productivity, passion and purpose meet.
Although the entrepreneur’s burden and work are ultimately their own, their path does not necessarily need to be walked alone. Here are five partnerships every entrepreneur, leader, high-achiever and creative spirit needs in their life to achieve their most important goals.
You will have questions along the way. You might have a perfect plan for your goals, but all of a sudden, something happens, and you aren’t exactly sure what to do. At this time, you need a mentor.
The mentor is the person who has gone before you and who uses their personal experience and success to help you stay or get onto the right path. In your conversation, you’ll have many detail-specific questions they’ll have wisdom for. And at times, they may challenge you from their own mistakes and failures, hoping you will not make the same mistake again. They might suggest to work less, or at least work smarter, to save your marriage and your family, or at the very least, unnecessary pain.
Related: 4 Benefits of Finding a Mentor
On the journey, things come up. When you make the New Year’s resolution to go to the gym in January, you are filled with focus and energy. But at some point, likely February, the focus and energy wane and you need someone to help you stay on track.
Like the mentor, this person is committed to your success. Your conversations with your coach, however, are driven by the coach. They will make sure you are on track by asking the difficult questions and telling you the hard things. Everything you talk about with them is about productivity, performance and progress. They will do all that they can to ensure you stay on track and achieve your agreed-upon goals. If you get the answers from your mentor, then you get the motivation from your coach.
Related: Why Everyone Needs a Life Coach
At some point in any journey, things get hard — almost unbearably so. Along the way, you may fall into a form of depression, begin to question what you’re doing or your most important relationships begin to crack. In these times, you need a pastor.
Although the terms pastor or minister are often used in religious terms, they are used within other sectors. The Canadian government has ministers of finance and trade. In the UK, industries may have positions dedicated to “pastoral care,” highlighting care over management. They are not your therapist, however, they are there to listen to you and care for you.
Throughout the journey, you will experience ups and downs — some big, but often small. Maybe you had sufficient motivation and went to the gym every day throughout January without anyone having to do anything. Even so, you might need a friend through it all.
Your friend may know nothing of your goals or the way to achieve them. But if they are a true friend, that lack of understanding does not diminish their care, hope and love for you. They want you to succeed. They will celebrate with you and cry with you. You can tell them the unimportant details of your journey because they care about every detail. They care about you.
People need someone in a similar field or situation who understands the struggles of creating and starting something from a vision. A peer will help you not feel alone in a different way than the rest. You will learn from them, and they will learn from you. They will motivate you, and you will motivate them.
Everyone is an entrepreneur
If there’s one thing 2020 taught us, it’s that relationships matter. Human beings need other human beings — people to give us a piece of advice, a word of encouragement, a heart of compassion, a listening ear and a hand to hold. Whether or not you’re starting a business, all of us need these five people in our lives.
And in case you’re worried, you don’t need five different and distinct people on your journey. Your friend could also be your peer, or your coach could also be your pastor. Your mentor could also be your coach. The overlap is likely, and sometimes even necessary.
Who are you fortunate and blessed to have in your life who helps you achieve more and be more?